Gresini Honda rider Jorge Martin secured a pivotal pole position, edging out Moto3 title rival Marco Bezzecchi by just 0.032 seconds around the Sepang International Circuit.
Coming to Malaysia twelve points clear, Martin had to wait until the final seconds of the session to snatch the pole position away from long time session leader John McPhee.
However, with the chequered flag out, Martin pulled a 2:11.731 out of the bag - the fastest Moto3 lap around the SIC – to claim his nineteenth career pole position.
Behind Martin, Bezzecchi left it late, crossing the line to start his flying lap with just six seconds remaining, came ever so close to the pole position, lapping under the previous fastest ever lap himself.
Tony Arbolino finds himself on the outside of the front row and was a beneficiary of following Martin around on his hot lap. It is the Italian’s second front row start of 2018 after his pole position in Argentina.
McPhee had to settle for fourth position after leading the majority of the session and he will be joined on the second row by Phillip Island winner Albert Arenas and Enea Bastianini.
Tatsuki Suzuki heads an all-Japanese third row in seventh position with Kazuki Masaki and Ayumu Sasaki in eighth and ninth places respectively.
Nico Antonelli will start from tenth position alongside Darryn Binder with impressive rookie stand in Celestino Vietti in twelfth.